Brownies: Whether cakey or fudgy, milk or dark chocolate (or blondies), they’re a treat even the pickiest of eaters can get behind. The next time you whip up a batch, think outside the box. Use your favorite brownie recipe (or try one of Food Network‘s) and check out these five ways to keep brownies the main event at the dessert table.
It’s not too soon to start planning for a Cinco de Mayo celebration. And this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week will help you prepare a sure-hit dessert. Aarón’s brownies get their kick from Mexican cinnamon and pequin chile powder. If you can’t find pequin, just substitute cayenne pepper.
For more spring-season recipe inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Celebrate Spring board on Pinterest.
Get the Recipe: Aarón’s Mexican Brownies
I am so grateful that spring is finally here. I live in Philadelphia, which is in that part of the country that was viciously walloped by this winter’s polar vortex, and so I was starting to wonder if the cold weather was here to stay. Fortunately in the last couple weeks, the weather has warmed, there’s a bit more sunlight each day, and I can feel hopefulness radiating off of everyone I pass.
To my mind, there’s no better way to celebrate the return of this more-hopeful weather than with a homemade treat. If you feel the same way, let me suggest Trisha Yearwood’s Chocolate Pound Cake. It’s indulgent, but the texture is lighter than you find with other pound cakes, which makes it both celebratory and perfect for this time of year.
Whether you’re baking for an Easter celebration or just in need of something sweet with which to welcome the warmer weather, this cake is an ideal Weekender project.
Something truly magical happens while these mash-up brownies bake. The marshmallow fluff puffs up and toasts, creating a swirled effect with the brownie topping. Turn on the oven light to watch the action and make this week’s Most Popular Pin tonight.
For more dessert recipe inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Bake board on Pinterest.
Get the Recipe: S’more Brownies
Before I met my husband, my go-to desserts were always fruit based. For spring potlucks I would bake up big trays of berry crumble. Late summer meant peach pie with vanilla ice cream. And no Thanksgiving meal was complete without a scoop of apple crisp.
That all changed when Scott and I got together, because fruit just isn’t his thing. While I do still occasionally make my beloved fruit desserts, I find I get more joy from dessert prep if I make something that he’s interested in sharing with me (plus, I really shouldn’t be eating all that dessert on my own).
And so for the last half decade, I’ve been working on expanding my dessert repertoire beyond berries, stone fruit and apples. I’ve made damp tea loaves, coffee cakes, cookies, bars and more. They’ve all been good, but I longed for something that came together a little more quickly and didn’t require the use of the oven.
I found it: homemade pudding. There are two ways to make a batch of pudding from scratch. The first uses cornstarch and makes a quick and perfectly serviceable pudding. When I make pudding-filled pies or want a big batch for a potluck, that’s the version I opt for. But when I want something that can be the star of the dessert course, nothing is better than rich custard-based pudding.
This week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week combines two classic desserts: cupcakes and bread pudding. Red velvet cupcakes get extra moist and flavorful when baked into a creamy bread pudding. You can start with cupcakes and frosting made from scratch as instructed in this recipe. Or if you’re strapped for time, use frosted cupcakes from your favorite bakery.
For more comfort food recipe inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Cook Comfort Food board on Pinterest.
Get the Recipe: Red Velvet Bread Pudding
Surfing the wave of mash-up mania that brought the world the Cronut™ and ramen burger, we decided to beat winter by partnering with our brilliant culinary team in Food Network Kitchen to come up with THE most comforting comfort food. Together with Cooking Channel, we’ve mashed up some classics to create all-new recipes that deliver double the comfort. Over the next several weeks, we’ll be revealing the ways we mixed and remixed some of our favorite dishes, with one recipe appearing on Food Network and another on Cooking Channel.
This week’s mash-ups feature a marriage of two classic, comforting cakes.
Call me crazy, but chocolate isn’t my first choice for dessert. If you follow my blog, then you know there are some exceptions to this rule, at least when Chewy, Bittersweet Brownies are involved. Brownies aside, my sweet tooth tendencies are likely satisfied with something like this Raspberry-Ricotta Mousse or Lemon Icebox Bars. Why should Valentine’s Day be any different? This year I say think outside the box of chocolates and whip up one of these homemade treats for your sweetheart.
Tiramisu is Italian for “pick-me-up.” It’s made with ladyfingers dipped in espresso that are then layered with a whipped mascarpone mixture and topped with chocolate shavings. Giada’s version will make enough for you, your sweetie and then some.
Whether it’s an after-school snack or a silky spoonful of dessert, vanilla pudding is always a sentimental treat that can instantly channel the flavors of childhood. To re-create this creamy comfort food from scratch, toss out the powdery boxed mix and whip up Food Network Kitchen’s old-fashioned Vanilla Pudding recipe that tastes just like Mom’s used to. Once you’ve whisked together this sweet bowl full of nostalgia, start experimenting with mix-ins to give your pudding a modern twist. From crushed cookies to ice cream-inspired candy combos, these imaginative additions only enhance the basic pudding, allowing the classic flavor to shine through.
Rocky Road Pudding: You won’t have to worry about this bowl of rocky road melting: Vanilla pudding stands in for the ice cream scoop but delivers the same classic flavors when mixed with semisweet chocolate chips, toasted walnuts and miniature marshmallows.